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  MSNBC    MSNBC News Live    News/Business. Live news coverage,  
   breaking news and current news events. New.  

    July 30, 2011
    9:00 - 10:00am EDT  

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in a sane of just how dire the debt situation is, it has kennellinged a test vote at 1:00 a.m. early sunday morning after 12 long hours with no break at all. meantime, the house is also meeting this afternoon, and it is planning to revote to reject the senate's bill before it's even passed. if you think that sounds like a bad sign for reaching a deal, listen to this. >> the minority leader just told the majority leader that he will not negotiate with him. that is really quite extraordinary. the republican leader mcconnell has told the majority leader reid that he will not negotiate with him. he will only negotiate with the president. i have been here 25 years. i have never heard anything like that. >> the news conference late last night after the chamber killed a detmer that was passed by the house.
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sfwroo the senate is the only way out of this mess. you have seen the huge difficulties in the house, their inability to even tie their own shoes. >> to think with a straight face that they've spent something that the american people would accept, the ryan budget, cap and cut, whatever that is, and then this thing. that's not lejsz las vegas. that is a -- that was an extravaganza over there that made them all look very foolish. >> northbound's luke russert is live for us on capitol hill. with a good saturday morning to you, luke. we heard senator kent conrad put it in perspective there, but for you how bad is this breakdown between the parties right now? >> it's pretty bad. just in the sense that there is so far we know of no real communication between harry reid and mitch mcconnell and president obama. at least that's public. i'm sure there are things going on behind the scenes, but when you have both parties still publicly asserting very rigid positions, essentially saying they're not really in the budget
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this moment, it presents dilgts simply because of where we are in terms of timing. in order for a compromise to come out of the united states senate, ideally in order to avert a default, it would come out tonight. that's probably not going to happen. these negotiations will probably carry into tomorrow, most likely harry reid will try to persuade nine to ten, 12 republicans to come on board with some sort of compromise, and the attempt to hope he can get that. mitch mcconnell has shown so far no willingness to do that. he has doubled down, essentially, with speaker boehner's plan in the house, which senate democrats have no chance of going forward. there is no speculation that mitch mcconnell might come to the bargaining table today. his staff said if it was the appropriate time with the president, wee do that, but now it becomes very dangerous because if the senate doesn't get anything out tonight, doesn't get anything and goes until tomorrow, it will then count upon every senator allowing the process to be expedit expedited. we have seen maneuvers used by folks on the left like bernie sanders and jim demint of
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slowing things down. in a perfect world, if a compromise does come out of the united states senate to raise the debt limit and cut spending, right now it might not get to the house until tuesday afternoon, tuesday evening, and there is a lot of pressure for speaker john boehner to try and deliver the house, which would most likely be a mix of republicans and democrats by 11:59 on tuesday night. that's why you are hearing people are very much shall we say depressed looks on their face. there's a lot of tension up here, and a lot of it is because folks really don't see what the clear path forward is this close to krumpl time. >> luke, you say that senator reid is looking for nine to 12 gop leaders to come over. he really only needs seven to get it done. is that because with each other that goes above that 60 count, it sends an exponentially greater message that we are coming together, we're amassing a majority? is that why he wants to go for greater numbers? >> absolutely. the more folks you can get on board from the republican side that he feels translates over to the house and the more committee get over there. there's a real possibility that
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any compromise that comes out of the senate with -- that is led by harry reid could lose 140 votes up on the republican side. it would be a small number of republicans and democrats that get across the finish line. he is really going to go after folks like lamar alexander, the number three ranking member of the senate republican from tennessee. he was supportive of the gang of six. i'm told he is going to look at that bipartisan compromise that's been constructed over months that was unveiled last week. folks that are okay with that, the kay bailey hutchison, scott brown, the new england republicans mark kurr from eli will, people open that that idea will be prime targets for harry reid today. it's just a waiting game. what can harry reid offer them within this compromise, what specific type of trigger for -- to enact next debt limit can he offer these republicans that they will, in fact, sign off on and say it's okay. that's when what it's come down to now. >> he will have 12 long hours to get that done. we will see late tonight. thank you so much. luke russert, you too.
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worries about the u.s. debt ceiling rippling across the globe now, but nowhere are they as intense as in china. the chinese government holds $1.6 trillion in u.s. treasuries. the concern is growing that those investments may not be safe as they once were, and that the country may be forced to slow down its buying if the u.s. loses its triple-a credit rating. the reaction has not been positive to the wrangling in washington over the debt limit. here in new york the stock market was down friday because of uncertainty over what will happen. the dow dropped 97 points and the government starts running out of money on tuesday. earlier i spoke with annie lowery, economic and business reporter for slate to see how the markets are, indeed, reacting. >> they are not freaking out, but they are not happy either. if you look at what happened in the stock market, it was the worst week for the stock market in a year. they're not pleadsed, but they are not panicking either. i think that the stock market beliefs that there is going to be a resolution to this, and we'll see that before the august 2nd or august 10th deadline.
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whenever it is that treasury would actually get pretty close to the point of not sending out payments. >> give me that august soth dead looirn. there are those, washington insiders as well as economic analysts, who say as much as we talk about august 2nd from some washington perspective and white house perspective, it's really august 10 that's the day we're worrying about. >> exactly. so treasury has stuck with the august 2nd date. that was their initial predicted date when they would actually not be able to send bills out. it turns out that that date is probably a little bit closer to the 10th because of higher than expected receipts, but they're going to have a couple big social security payments and interest payments due, so it's not entirely clear to the markets or to anybody else when treasury will exhaust its reserves. >> annie lowery, economic and business reporter for slate. well, joining me from the hill now illinois republican congressman robert dold who serves on the financial services committee. representative dold, thanks for being here this morning. it's a busy day. >> thanks for having me. i appreciate it. >> i know, sir, that you
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supported john boehner's plan, but you say you would have voted for it without a budget balanced amendment. why are some of your colleagues saying they need that fully knowing it would not pass the senate? >> the number of my colleagues booef e plea of we have to change the way washington is working, so we've been grossly overspending for a long period of time. it's been happening on both sides of the aisle. it's a clear washington problem. american families have tightened their belt. american businesses have done the same. they should expect that the federal government should be able to live within its means. >> we have senate majority leader harry reid's plan, that has $2.4 trillion in debt limit increases. that matches dollar for dollars. it also includes gop mcconnell's -- isn't that pretty much what republicans have been asking for? would you be happy with this plan? >> well, i like the idea certainly that we're going to allow the debt ceiling to be raised so that american businesses can be able to have some more certainty that, we can be able to pay our bills and pay our obligations. we do need to have structural
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spending reform, and my understanding of the reid plan having looked at it is there are a lot of the budget gimmicks. we're done with budget gimmicks. the american public has said enough. i understand that as a small business guy. as someone that runs a business and meets a budget and a payroll, we can't have the budget gimmicks. we have to talk about some significant cuts that are going to be very real cuts and honestly, one of the reasons why i was on board with the boehner plan is that john boehner had actually sat down with harry reid in the same room to craft this plan. so i think that we need to have a bold bipartisan plan going forward. that's the only way we're going to get something done here in washington d.c. is get something to pass the cincinnati and put it on the president's desk to be signed. >> on the wheels of what you said in that sentiment, you're expressing, sir. i want to play a clip of john kerry. let's listen to this. >> the chinese are looking at us right now, and they are just gleeful and incredulous at the way one of its great competitors
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is imploding on itself. it's happening because a small group of absolutists, ebbing streamists that don't understand the implications of even of what they're doing are prepared to hold the entire nation's economy hostage. >> now, while he did not address them by name, you know he was referring to the tea party members of the house. ho howe do you respond to those like the senators and others that say the tea party members are holding the economy hostage until they get everything they want? >> well, we cannot let perfect be the enemy of good, and what we do want to do is we have to have some structural spending reform. there's no question about that. we need to put people before politics, and we need to put progress before partisanship, but we need to move this ball down the field. we're spending $1.5 trillion, alex, of money we don't have this year. a huge purchaser of that debt is going to be china. i mean, 42 cents of every single dollar we spend is borrowed, and 47% is borrowed by foreign entities of who is purchasing that debt. china has 22.9% of that. they are a huge creditor, and we have to solve this problem.
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i think we've got to be able to pay down our debt in the long-term. it's not going happen overnight. we have to do so in a responsible manner. if we want to talk about trying to be able to do what's best for america. >> all right. republican congressman of illinois, robert dold. sir, thank you very much. i know you have a long day ahead. thank you for being with us. >> thank you, alex. with upgle sam tight on cash, the question is who will get paid first if the debt ceiling is not raised by tuesday? a colleague msnbc's richard lui will show us in a few minutes all of that. meantime, in italy it is a pivotal day in court for amanda knox. she was convicted of murdering her british roommate and sentenced to 26 years in prison, but now dna evidence in the case is being called into question. nbc's keith miller live again for us in italy. keith, can you put in perspective why today's hearing is so crucial for amanda knox? >> reporter: well, this is the first day after this basically bombshell from the court-appointed forensic expert saying that the dna used to convict knox and her former
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boyfriend is unreliable, so it was the prosecution's day to try to call back basically rebuke the testimony from the experts. they're not having a very good day of it. the judge, who appointed these experts to actually go over the evidence, has constantly said to them throughout the day, you know, limit your questions, hurry up, let's get going, we're done with this. it's a remarkable turn of events for knox and her defense team who all along had argued that the dna was not there to convict their client. in the absence of an eyewitness, in the absence of a confession from the woman who claims she is innocent, it really does come down to the dna, and specifically what is most alarming, certainly for the prosecution, is that their contention that the alleged murder weapon, a knife, had dna on the blade from the victim, meredith kircher, an exchange student, while this select panel came back and said, no, there is no dna of the victim on that knife, and, in fact, another peterson of evidence which tied her boyfriend into the crime which was a bloody bra clasp,
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that was ruled to be just too far decayed to even test it. quite a remarkable turn. don't think the prosecution is going to make a lot of headway today, alex. >> okay. remarkable, indeed. thank you for that updated. nbc's keith miller. we, in the meantime, will continue our coverage of the debt limit showdown in just a moment with a look at a few of the myths that a florist in the debate over raising the debt ceiling. also ahead, putting the brakes on red light cameras. why are cities deciding to do away with them? and pretty in politics. do good-looking candidates have an edge at the ballot box? results of a new study next on msnbc saturday. where'd you get that idea? how'd you learn to do that? what'd you use? every project we finish comes with a story built-in. it's how our rough ideas become "you did that yourself?" so when we can save more on the projects that let us fix, make, and do more... that just makes the stories even better. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. add some style to your sink, with this moen banbury faucet
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both houses in congress will be in session today amid the tense washington gridlock, and just around the corner from hitting the debt ceiling. senate democrats are rallying
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behind a plan put forward by harry reid even before a vote is held in the senate. house republicans are threatening to reject that proposal in a symbolic vote today. joining us from washington is michael sheerer, white house correspondent for time magazine. good morning to you, michael. >> alex, how are you sf. >> i'm well. before we get through the top three red herrings, what are you hearing this morning? what do you know? >> well, both sides are actually very close on the substance, and really this is just everybody is holding out for the last minute when they're going to have to cut a deal. it's not clear exactly what that deal is, but the realisticing point right now is the trigger for the second traunch of cuts, how that will be constructed. really the sticking point is the same one that speaker boehner and barack obama had weeks ago when their talks broke up. it's whether or not revenues will be allowed in the second batch of cuts, and if so, how
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much revenues. they're trying to figure that out now. pretty much everybody expects a deal will be cut. there really is consensus among the vast majority of senators. can you get a vote as many as 80 senators on this that something has to be done, and that there's a deal to be had here. >> i tell you, for the first time this morning i think i'm just sitting a little easier listening to you. that's good. that's -- fwloo it could still all fall apart, but on the substance rationally, they should be able to cut a deal. i say that. >> oh, great. now i'm back up again. here we go with regard to the article you wrote this week "the red herrings in the debt showdown." the first one that being president obama does not have a plan. is that a misdirection? >> yeah. the thing you have to fland is that the easiest way to be misinformed is to take anything any of these guys are saying at face value. president obama has come forward with a number of plans in private negotiations. he has gone public with the outlines of a plan. he was willing to accept that speaker boehner walked away from. pretty et specific. 1.5 trillion in cuts wr. about half a trillion in
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entitlement cuts. about 1.2 trillion in revenue increases. rhetorically, he hasn't put forward legislation. in legislative language. that's for strategic reasons. oat orically the republicans have said, oh, he doesn't have a plan, he is nott sear about this, but it really is misdirection. >> based on what you were saying earlier about the tenor of things right now, another red herring that republicans won't compromise? >> yeah. i mean, again, republicans don't want to use the word compromise, and that's for political reasons. their base doesn't like the word compromise, whereas democrats do like the word compromise. you hear one side saying the word more than others, but in truth both sides have been working together for more than a month now to craft a compromise, and what speaker boehner has put forward in the house is really the result largely of a compromise. he has a couple of poison pills that will make his plans impossible to pass in the senate, but the outlines of this plan as it is now is really a result of compromise on both sides. >> okay. well, mike, thank you vemp for that. people can read it in the swamp land in time playing zeen and
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get those other two points. an interesting article. thank you. >> the first tropical system of the year has fizzled out. tropical storm don has weakened to a tropical depression. that storm made landfall around midnight on corpus christi on the rm coast lien. it brought gts relief to the lone star state. it's left behind a beautiful day, as testified by the weather channel's kan kan who is live in north padre island, texas. can you believe the calm after the storm. the beautiful calm. >> you are missing a great beach day. i have been honest with you. >> i wish. >> i know you do, darling. this is my 69th storm that i have covered for the weather channel. i want to show you this thing. i have never seen a storm come in like this and basically just go poof. if you notice how the infra-red, you lose all those colors there. that's the storm pretty much dissipating right before our very eyes. nobody got a little over half inch of rain with this. nobody. everybody got about a trace, 200ths of an inch.
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it was a great dry run for us. can you see behind me, they've taken the chairs off the beached in through here and gotten those ready. you know, there's a few other folks that were out here doing broadcasts as a result of this. there's not much laying around that could have been blown around, but, again, it's all about the beach today. we've had a young family out here frolicking in the water a little bit. sometimes it takes about 24 hours or so after the storm moves through before the waves finally calm down, and the rip current risk. you know what, given the kind of heat we're expecting over the next couple of days here, i think we're going to see a lot of people not only at the beach, but in the water as wrl. zoo deserve this given the number of times we've covered stories where i'm wonder if anything you are going to blow away. you're ordered stay there for a couple of more hours while we talk to you. >> you got it. if the u.s. goes into default, the u.s. will slurly be in a cash crunch, but will there be enough money to pay social security? we'll take a look at that. up next, there's a lot of talk about apple releasing a new iphone, but how will it be different than the current one? well, stay with us. we'll take a look at msnbc
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[ male announcer ] it's the at&t network. and what's possible in here is almost impossible to say. rumors are swirling about a new iphone 5. rumors suggest it will be thinner and have a tapered back and a larger screen. there's also another rumor that apple will introduce a new cheaper version of the iphone 4 which would have a plastic corps instead of glass. we'll have to wait and see about all that. nintendo is cutting the price for its new 3-d hand held game system by about $80. they reduced the $170 tries tag, and it comes after sales dropped by almost 40% over the last three months. despite all the bally-hoo in the 3ds, more are turning to iphones, ipads, and facebook to get their game on. the u.s. debt showdown isn't
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just a news story in the u.s. deposits around the globe have their eye on congress too. china, which holds more than $1 trillion? n u.s. treasuries is particularly nervous. nbc's tazine ahmad has more on this. china is very worried. can you explain to the viewers why they are nervous about this? >> reporter: china, alex, has the most to lose because it's the largest foreign holder of u.s. treasury debt. it holds the largest amount of treasuries. about 8% of the total u.s. debt, and it depends very much on americans to buy its exports and some are saying that today it's been vosiferous and saying that the u.s. had been kidnapped by am yil forces and this was irresponsible and the bickering needed to end because so many countries have so much to lose. al alex, around the world, the fear is that no matter how this is resolved and how quickly it's resolved it's going to leave a dent in the image of the u.s. right around the world.
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>> well, indeed. china has that perspective there. what about the european leaders who are being a bit more diplomatic because they've had tough lessons to learn about their own austerities and what are leaders in europe saying? >> that's right. they have. europe is still rocky. it's still fragile after the greece bailout. germany, which is relatively stable, is insisting that the u.s. owes it to the world to sort this out asap. in france they're saying first there will be this economic crisis and then there will be a social crisis, and then a political crisis. then right across the world pakistan has got concerns about the loss of aid and the impact that this would have on fighting terror. israel is worried about the position of the u.s. and the world that if the u.s. is weak at this point, then countries leak iran will start to feel emboldened. here in the us u.k. they're saying that internal u.s. political wrangling are pose aing real threat to the world's financial systems, alex. it is a word president obama
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has been using repeatedly in the battle over raising the debt limit, but are enough lawmakers on capitol hill heeding his advice? we'll have the latest from the white house next on msnbc saturday. >> what's clear now is that any solution to avoid default must be bipartisan. it must have the support of both parties that we're sent here to represent the american people. not just one faction. the time for putting party first is over. the time for compromise on behalf of the american people is now. i am confident that we can solve this problem. i'm confident that we will solve this problem. ÷@x i love that my daughter's part fish.
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must be bipartisan. it must have the support by both parties who were sent here to represent american people. not just one faction of one party. the time for compromise on behalf of the american people is now. joining me now white house correspondent mike vikara. let's hope compromise is a word that everyoneons how to spell and employ today. >> what a week of drama and political turmoil in the capitol. it continued into the night last night. lots of political posturing, lots of finger-pointing continuing, but behind the scenes there are furious rounds of negotiations going on now. democrats in the senate trying to get republicans on board, and at this point, alex, although it's not clear a resolution could be in sight. >> it is a temporary triumph, but when it was finally at hand, a defiant speaker john boehner lashed out on the house floor. >> i stuck my neck out a mile to
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try to get in agreement with the president of the united states, and i put revenues on the table. >> boehner attacked mr. obama and the democrats while trying to -- >> tell what is they're for. tell us how we can end this crisis. >> after back room arm-twisting failed to win enough tea party votes, boehner added a balanced budget amendment to his package of spending cuts. more palettable for house conservatives, but a poison pill in the senate. with the boehner plan dead on arrival there, late last night democratic leader harry reid submitted his own plan. >> the plan is to work off our bill. it's time for us to be adults. it's what the american people want. it's time to come together in a compromise. that's what the american people want, and that's what we need to do. >> reporter: as the drama played out, president obama pushed lawmakers to find a solution. >> so there are plenty of ways out of this mess, but we are
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almost out of time. >> and he urged voters to turn up the height heat on republicans. >> make a phone call, send an e-mail, tweet. >> his 2012 campaign office gave out the twitter sites of top gop lawmakers nationwide. and for the second time in a week capitol phone lines were jammed. sfroo people will call be and be waiting 60 to 90 minutes. >> the senate will work all weekend in terms of a deal. >> compromise is not a bad word. it's time for us to act together and we hold our arms out to my republican colleagues. >> alex, even in a best case scenario, the senate, the house, once they get through all the procedure, even if they can come to an agreement, we're looking at going to the last minute here. this is going to be a last minute deal right to the brink on tuesday. the first crucial vote, a test vote as they call it in the senate is scheduled to happy tonight in the wee hours, actually tomorrow morning, sunday, at 1:00 a.m. alex. >> which means we have a lot to
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talk about tomorrow morning yet again. thank you very much, mike. sfwlirchlgts let's go now to capitol hill for an inside look at the debt ceiling debate. a democratic congressman from washington, jim mcdermott is live for us now. good morning. thanks for joining us. >> good morning, alex. i know, sir, you have been quoted as saying house republicans are out of control when the house is in session just a couple and a half hours from now. how does one get that control as you put it? how did you get it back? can you just take us inside the house in a manner of speaking and tell us how you expect the negotiations to play out today? >> well, you saw sort of a rerun or a forerunning of this when boehner went into his caucus and said i've got to have 218 votes. now, what do i have to get from you? what do i have to give you? he ultimately came out yesterday and produced the votes. he is going to have the same problem when harry reid sends over a compromise from the senate. he is going to have to go into his caucus and say to them what
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do i need to get a 218 votes? i can't let this fail. if you don't help me, i'm going have to go talk to mrs. pelosi. that's the kind of situation that's going to go on in the republican caucus, because at some point he is going to have to have 218 votes, and he may have to talk to mrs. pelosi and see what her price is to produce some votes. >> you have been very vocal about the freshman republicans in the house saying they don't know or care to know how the federal government works. in fact, you tweeted this. we're going to show here. it's a picture of a tea party representative joe walsh there in front from illinois in front of former president reagan's picture. can you explain the point you were trying to make here. >> you mean my tweet wasn't clear? >> it's pretty clear, but just for those people that couldn't see it up close and personal. >> the fact is that ronald reagan wrote a letter to the congress and said, please read
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the debt limit. ronald reagan was a very practical politician. he is made into some kind of iconic no tax god, but, in fact, he was a guy who knew what you had to do, and he called up here, and they did it without fuss and fury. i have been here since 1989. we've had -- 1980. we've had 39 increases in the debt limit. the fact is that there was never this kind of mess. this is all manufactured for the purposes of making president obama look bad. >> so are you saying this is the worst you have seen it in all your years in congress? this heated debate. >> absolutely. this is not something to be played with. yesterday in washington state the moody's told the university of washington and the city of seattle and the county of king that if there is a default, they will immediately lose their -- they will be on the bond rating watch list, and they'll drop their bond rating.
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that means we pay more money in the state of washington. that's going on all over the country. these -- they're like kids playing with dynomite in the school yard. they do not know what they're doing. >> well, we appreciate your perspective democratic congressman from washington. jim mcdermott. good luck today. >> thank you. >> as you know, uncle sam is quickly running out of cash as the government scrapes up against the 14.3 trillion debt ceiling. apple actually now has more cash on the books than uncle sam. the maker of ipads and iphones sitting on $76 billion. while the u.s. treasury now has about $74 billion. my colleague richard lui has more details on who may get paid and who might not if we default. good morning. >> good morning to you, alex. it's a catch 22. you thinkle sam struggling, like many americans right now. not enough cash, and a lot of bills to pay. cam august 3rd, this could be the tough choice. pay this list of bills getting medicare and medicaid payments to grandma sending social security checks out and pay groups like contractors to keep
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our military running, just a sample right here of that, or the other list. pay back some money that we have borrowed. over $4.5 trillion owed governmented around the world. these are the top five. china, for instance, right here. lending one out of every $4 we owe. all told, $306 billion starting august 3rd. the problem? only $172 billion is coming in from tax and other revenues. that leaves a shortfall of $134 billion. who do you pay? many say the treasury department will go with foreign governments and other bond holders first. though few details are out there at the moment on who and how bills will be paid. the treasury department has been putting together a payment plan. one possibility in that plan, do what president eisenhower did when the debt ceiling was not raised back in 1953. he had the treasury department issue gold certificates to federal reserve banks across the
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country and got cash back to keep the government humming along. alex, as some 100 million checks are issued by the government every month and in three days, the unsavory job of payment triage begins choosing grandma or governments. sflichlt we want to bach about that. the dell ceiling has some american soldiers worried. one service member asked will we get paid? the chairman said, on i "actually don't know the answer to that yes. i have confidence that in at some point in time, whatever compensation you are owed, you will be given." it is possible military pay could be delayed as well in addition to everything richard lui was just reporting about. meantime, the air campaign in the battle for libya aims at on air targets. three television transmitters were disabled overnight. the plan was to stop muammar
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qadhafi as a mean to intimidate the libyan people and insight acts of violence against them. we have new pictures this morning from the area where a bomb exploded in oslo, norway. the area still considered a crime scene, and damage from last week's bombing is still evident there. 77 people, mostly teenagers were killed in oslo, as well as on that nearby island. still ahead, it could be -- is the candidate's appearance -- does the candidate's looks really matter to voters when they cast their ballots? we have a new study which has the answer. and it's an unusual place to find a whale. that's why it's attracting quite a crowd of curious onlookers. stay with us. we'll give you a peek at that on msnbc saturday. >> by 2020, 50 billion network devices will roam the earth. that's seven devices per person. this will change how we work in ways we've never before imagined. what do you need to secure your people, their devices, and your business? a network that can evolve and grow to protect your human network.
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i used to not travel very much, but then i discovered hotwire. now, i use all my vacation days. i can afford to visit my folks for the holidays. and reconnect with my girlfriends in vegas. because i get ridiculously low prices on all my trips. you see, when hotels have unsold rooms, they use hotwire to fill them, so i get 4-star hotels for up to half off. now i can afford a romantic trip to new orleans. hi honey! ♪ h-o-t-w-i-r-e... ♪ hotwire.com a live look at capitol hill just hours before the house and senate start their weekend sessions. the senate is expected to hold a test vote on a debt bill, put forth by majority leader harry reid. right now that vote is scheduled to take place after midnight tonight. we're going to have more on the standoff in just a few moments.
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meantime, tropical storm don lost much of its punch as it moved ashore in south texas overnight. the storm has now been downgraded to a tropical depression. it is expected to drop about one or two inches of rain on the drought-stricken area if that much. here with your saturday forecast nbc meteorologist bill karins. good saturday morning to you. >> what do you like better, disappearing don or don the dud? >> i think don the dud is quicker. >> shorter. easier to say. i'm actually amazed you guys even found rain video from this storm because there really wasn't much out there. this thing was just evaporated. faster than any storm i have seen making a landfall. it was just incredible. there's still a few showers out there. the biggest alg analogy i can tell people is texas right now is a pizza oven. it's been so hot and so dry. typically when a tropical storm comes, you think about it as throwing a bucket of water in a pizza oven. it can cool it off. this was like throwing a wet napkin in a pizza oven. it dried up and evaporate and,
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poof, it was gone. as far as the rainfall goes, there is not much out there. we're going to turn our attention to the heat story. dallas today, going to be very hot. it's a heat advisory. we have heat warnings in st. louis from today all the way out through wednesday. the areas of orange, this area has been under heat advisory and warnings for two straight weeks. here's the streak in dallas. incredible stuff. they had 28 days in a row with the afternoon high temperature. the all-time record is the big, big heat of 1980 when they went 42 days in a row. today should be day 29, and look at this. they're going to get up into the 30s. look how hot it is on tuesday and wednesday. we have a chance of beating this incredible streak that no one thought we would touch from 1908, one of the hottest summers ever in the midwest. today's forecast -- actually, this is sunday's forecast first. tomorrow we're going to see those thunderstorms in the southeast. monsoonal showers. no one is really going to get washed out. the best chance would be in eastern north carolina. because i mixed up the days, here's your saturday with today's forecast. looks like the rain from don is going to stay whatever is left in mexico. showers and storms and areas of
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tennessee. it's just amazing that we just can't break this heat wave. it's literally going to take probably a big tropical storm or hurricane to do that, and there's nothing on the way for at least another week. >> okay. well, thanks for taking a look out there for us. bill karins. biologists say they're concerned about the health of a 40 foot great whale that stuck in a northern california river. the whale that swam three miles up the river inland with her 15 foot baby a month ago, that baby whale has since returned to the ocean. biologists have used dozens of methods to lure the whale back, but apparently it won't go, so they're hoping that a need for food will get her to head back to the salt water of the sea. taking politicians at face value. ae new m.i.t. study shows voters who watch a lot of television but don't really know much about political candidates besides how they look are most likely to be influenced by physical appearance. the size of that effect is about the same as the influence of income beensy, but it dmrishz as voter information levels increase. i'm joined now by nick rangone,
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"author of "15 editions that change the nation." my mother and i have these arguments all the time. she is, i think, backing up what you are saying in this study, and i'm always like, no, no, mom, people study the issues, and that's how they vote. in fact, this constitutedy finds that -- study finds that for every point increase when rated on his ear her looks, there was a 5% increase in support for that candidate from uninformed voters who say we watch a lot of television, so give me your reaction to those numbers. >> well, you know, i think attractiveness, you know, that's subjective. beauty is in the eye of the beholder. there's probably a correlation between how we vote and how comfortable we perceive the candidate to be in their own sken or how likable they are. i think attractiveness is probably too black and white to say it that way. for instance, president clinton we liked him. he is attractive, i'll say, but he is comfortable in his own
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skin. even president george w. bush, is he somebody that is likable and somebody that you could have a beer with. ronald reagan too. it's less about attractiveness per se, and it's more about the candidate we think is comfortable in their own skin and somebody that we enjoy spending time with. i think that is what we're really getting at. >> in your book, you had mentioned the 15 landmark decision that is changed our country. some of those decisions are made long before the advent of television, but do you think looks played any role in how those decisions were received? >> well, that's a great question. you know, it was before television, but, you know, it's interesting. the first president that ran after women got the vote warren g. harding in 19 20shgs it was suspected that part of the reason that he won was he was a handsome guy, and that was before television. i'm not sure how people really knew. you know, franklin roosevelt was a charismatic leader, and he was a handsome person viewed. john f. kennedy, we know is very handsome. very charismatic leader. ronald reagan too. there is something to the idea that if you are able to connect
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with people on an emotional level and that's really done through charisma, charm, attractiveness, that you can lead them, and roosevelt, kennedy, and reaganan were great leaders that did big things, and i mentioned all three in my book. >> i think i have to give this to my mother. anyway, thank you very much. >> i'm glad i made your mom happy. >> she'll be very happy. i'm going to have to call her when i get off the set. nick, many thanks. stoo thank you. in a moment, it's the end of the road for red light cameras in some cities and that includes los angeles. why are these occurring? that's next. @x whoa.
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it's house versus senate on the hill today. both are in session, both are controlled by different parties, and both are set to cast key votes on a new debt proposal put forth by senate majority leader harry reid. but the house isn't waiting for the senate to iron out the details. it's holding a symbolic vote this afternoon designed to prove senator reid's measure won't clear the house.
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we'll have more in a live report from washington coming your way at the top of the hour. the los angeles city council voted unanimously to week to halt the red light camera program in the city, and that starts tomorrow. since it began in 2004, the program has ticketed more than 180,000 motorists. los angeles is just the latest of over 30 cities around this country that have turned off their red light cameras saying they have not been effective in proving safety and too costly to run. joining me now is justin high, justin, good morning. >> good morning, alex. >> i'm curious why the cities are rejecting this red light program. we just talked about the number, 180,000 or more motorists in l.a. since 2004, that's going to bring in revenue when you have to pay those tickets. >> correct. i think when they first came out there was a fairly strong public safety argument made about how they could reduce crashes in intersections. but since then a number of cities and corporations turned what should be a public safety device into basically a slot
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machine for city revenues. as a result, these are very unpopular across the country. every time voters have been asked whether or not a city should have red light cameras they've rejected them and that's a lot about what's happening in los angeles. >> you can imagine why the voters say they don't want them there, because a lot of the voters are going to be driving and they are very sneaky little entities those red light cameras. you get a ticket mailed to you, you were busted, and they say, what? how do you know i went through that light like that. but l.a. was costing about $2.5 million a year to keep this up and running, this program. but again, if we try to extrap late the revenue that comes in from 180,000 over six years, red light tickets, it didn't meet the bottom line? >> well, there were a lot of problems with the l.a. system. for starters, it turns out those tickets weren't legally enforceable. so judges were saying even if you prosecutor, you didn't have to pay it. there were issues with how the
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tickets were being issued. a lot of people were getting tickets if are not stopping before they turned right on red, not simply going through an intersection. these are typical of the problems cities have had in putting these cameras into place. especially when they're focusing on them as revenue generators, rather than using them to increase public safety. i think that's the real key here. there's a different way of running them if you're going to worry about safety than if you use them as a slot machine. >> point well taken. how many more cities do you see taking these out of place? >> if they're not refocused to focus exclusively on traffic safety issues, a lot more cities will be replacing them. >> okay. justin hyde, thanks, justin. >> thank you. the debt showdown, the latest on capitol hill on what to expect today when the house and senate reconvene. and how a downgrade of the u.s. credit rating could hurt individual states as well. stay with us. ) usa prime credit. my name ...peggy. you got problem? peggy? third time i've called, it's time i speak with a supervisor. supervisor is genius...i transfer.
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this morning on msnbc
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saturday, a new day in washington with no solution yet to the debt ceiling standoff. the republican bill to raise the debt limit dies in the senate. i stuck my neck out a mile. i put revenues on the table. but a lot of people in this town can never say yes. >> now it's senator harry reid's turn. will his solution win bipartisan support? this as the deadline looms after a brutal week for the markets with increased pressure from wall street to produce an agreement before monday's opening bell. plus, what this crisis means for funding troops in afghanistan. this morning many soldiers are asking, will we get paid? good morning, everyone, i'm alex witt. welcome to msnbc saturday. we're approaching 10:00 a.m. on the east coast, 7:00 a.m. out west. congress has set itself up for a day of infighting today as the debt deadline draws dangerously close. the senate will start its session at 1:00 p.m. eastern